The Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War (opens in new tab) multiplayer beta is coming to PC on October 17, although everyone who preorders the game can start blasting a couple days ahead of that, on October 15. But what if you really want to enjoy the extra time shooting stuff, but really don't feel like throwing down your money up front? This too is doable.
Activision said yesterday (opens in new tab) that PC players can also gain early access to the beta by watching other people—specifically Twitch streamers with "Drops Enabled"—play the game. Link your Twitch and Battle.net accounts (opens in new tab), if they're not already connected, and then verify the link at battle.net (opens in new tab). Once that's done, you'll need to watch (or, you know, "watch") four hours of Black Ops – Cold Wars streams, making double-sure that they have "Drops Enabled," because otherwise it doesn't count.
Once you reach the four hour mark, you'll get a Twitch notification that access has granted. Fire up Battle.net, install the beta, and let 'er rip. That's the whole thing—everyone gets in. If you happen to run into any issues with the process, you can contact Blizzard support here.
Regardless of whether or not you've preordered or plan to jump in early, you can begin preloading the beta right now: Just fire up the Battle.net client, find Call of Duty: BOCW under the "Partner Games" list, and click the "Install" button. You'll need 42.2GB of free space to set it up.
Developer Treyarch also provided a quick rundown of what's been changed (opens in new tab) from the PlayStation 4 beta that ran last weekend, and said that the next round of testing will feature new content including "new maps, weapons, modes, playlists, Scorestreaks, Perks, Wildcards, equipment, and more. It will also have an Apex Legends-style ping system (opens in new tab).
- Adjusted tuning on the Duster Stock attachment to prevent faster sliding than intended.
- Increased the cooldown on the Spy Plane to help limit their numbers in the sky at one time.
- Increased TDM score limit from 75 to 100 for better match pacing.
- Updated the Assassin Perk description for clarity. (Updated Oct. 9)
- Slightly reduced damage output of the Milano 821 SMG. (Updated Oct. 9)
- Adjusted conditions for joining in progress to prevent players from joining matches that are about to end.
- Moved VIP Escort exclusively to the Featured playlist.
- Fixed an issue where a controller could become unresponsive when loading into a match.
- Fixed an issue with multiple Optics being misaligned in ADS and blocking the player's view, including Snappoint, Diamondback, and Hawksmoor attachments.
- Fixed a bug where players would get "UI Error 66156" when selecting “Add Activision Friends” from the Recent Players menu.
- Fixed an issue where other players’ names were not visible in the pre-match lobby.
- Fixed crashes that could occur during the Best Play in a VIP Escort match.
- Fixed a crash that could occur while selecting Operators in the front-end menu.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when a SAM Turret missile hit a target when the turret was destroyed.
- Fixed a rare crash that could occur if a Gunboat was beached for too long.